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I've always been a huge fan of Rick Riordan; I read through the Percy Jackson series in a few weeks and love the Heroes of Olympus. But I found the Kane Chronicles, especially this last book, to be silly.
FIrst of all, we find out on the first page that all is well, and that they've "survived doomsday." This last book is supposed to be about the culminating war that the previous books prepared us for. In contrast to similar epic endings such as Harry Potter 7 or Mockingjay, there was no real sense of danger here. Aside from the fact that we find out on the first page that everyone has survived, the "danger" presented seems childish at times. For example, while the protagonists battle Thoth on a pyramid, Thoth throws out hieroglyphs for "intestinal problems"... while traveling to the Hall of Ages with a new Russian friend, Sadie scares him by talking about banana slugs, and the Russian kid acted like he was genuinely scared.
Sadie's personality in this book adds on to the fact that there was no real sense of danger. She was not very likable in this book at all. Repeatedly, we hear about how she should be saving the world, but what's more important are her boy troubles...Doomsday is imminent, and she has to go to the school dance--anyone who doesn't care about the dance should get their priorities straight.
I'm happy it ended the way it did, but all in all, I find nothing in this book that makes it a page-turner. Unlike Harry Potter or the Hunger Games, there's no sense of urgency, and instead, we get the feeling that everything is fun and games--child's play, at best.
Heroes and gods worked together to save the world, and managed just that despite all the odds. The plot is similar to all other books in Olympus series and Kane's Chronicles, but this one is the worst in all 10 books, even more so than the Throne of Fire. Even so, it is still somewhat enjoyable.
The only interesting character here is Setne, and his role is quite limited.
Third in the Kane Chronicles urban fantasy series for young adults and revolving around a troupe of young magicians using Egyptian magic and hoping to save the world from Chaos.
My Take What a load of rubbish! Oh, the central storyline is good; it's Riordan's execution that had me gagging my way through. Was he in a hurry or something? Had a sudden fit of dumb?
The kids show up at a Tut exhibit party in Texas and tell Grissom that Apophis is about to attack and destroy the one remaining scroll and he both believes and disbelieves Carson and Sadie's team. Supposedly the Nomes throughout the world know what's going on, and yet, Grissom is amazingly ignorant. They're about to be attacked and Grissom does nothing to protect anyone before the attack. Where was Riordan's editor?
I did enjoy the description of the kids ransacking the gift shop at the museum. It was pretty funny and a great way to re-introduce them all to us.
"JD's wife is in danger." Was that supposed to be sarcasm?
They've spent all this time yammering away, not bothering to collect the precious scroll, and they do this throughout the story. Yack, yack, yack, go off on a tangent. Ooh, yeah, let's go have fun at the school dance. It's enough to drive ya mad. I'm guessing it was supposed to create tension. And it did. I kept hoping to reach a bucket before I spewed everywhere else. I swear, I do want to gag Sadie. She has no clue as to when to SHUT UP. Just wait til you get to the scene where they only have seconds to capture Bes' shadow. All I can say is, get a gag ready for the dimwit. Then there's her whole reaction to Anubis and Walt. Yeah, I get that it's a shocker, but gimme a break. It's just one stupid thing after another.
Carson doesn't get let off either. But then I do understand his getting careless as far as Bloodstained goes. I guess what really irritates me is that while the way the characters are being stupid can be reasonable for their circumstances, it's how Riordan goes about having them be so bloody stupid that is so incredibly irritating. Including all that stupid fighting at the end. So carefully preserving the bad guys so they could reach a crisis point.
I do enjoy the recording that Sadie and Carson do with all the asides of sibling pinching, laughing, and verbal assaults.
I don't get how supposedly intelligent magicians can possibly believe anything that comes out of Sarah Jacobi's mouth. I assume they all know her and her team's history. So, why would they believe her?
Okay, I did like the BAG references. Very funny. As was Riordan's description of Thoth doing battle on his pyramid in Tennessee: flat, bloated, intestinal problems. Oh, yeah, I'm scared. Scared I'll pee my pants laughing.
The Story Dallas is a disaster with death and loss. Which itself turns into a PR nightmare. But it does lead Carson to begin the series of questions which will lead to a possible way to win. An analysis of the soul, Egyptian-style. Shadow, sheut, is the fifth part of the soul.
Most of the magical world has turned against the Kanes. Amos' allies are deserting him.
And there is only one slim chance the Kanes have of averting the end o fthe world. Now, if Sadie can just shut up for a minute...
The Characters Sadie Kane can take Isis into her body and together they can wield the goddess' power. Carson Kane does the same with Horus. Together the kids live with other young magicians in Brooklyn House. Their dad, Dr. Julius Kane, became the host for Osiris last year; Disturber is just about the last judgement god available. Ammit the Devourer eats the souls of the dead. Sadie knows him as Poochiekins.
The Brooklyn House Nome, the Twenty-first Nome Walt Stone is one of the boys with whom Sadie is in love. Only, he's dying; King Tut was his "great-times-a-billion granduncle". Ten-year-old Felix has a thing for penguins. Wait'll you read what his assessment is of his power path at the end of the story. Too funny. Khufu is their baboon friend. Alyssa is an earth magician. Freak is a frozen-turkey-eating griffin who pulls their Egyptian boat around. Bast is a cat goddess and the housemother. Jaz is their healer. Julian. Paul. Cleo is the librarian. The ankle-biters include the crayon-wielding Shelby.
Brooklyn Academy for the Gifted (BAG) Mrs. Laird is the headmistress, the BAG lady. Lacy is a fellow student and one of Sadie's friends. Drew is a fellow student and she and her clique are so NOT friends with Sadie. Although, Riordan could have done so much more with this. The snark between them was rather lame.
Captain Bloodstained Blade commands the Egyptian Queen, a steamboat, a boat left to the Kanes by their father.
The First Nome in Egypt Uncle Amos is the Chief Lector who rules for the pharaoh and runs the House of Life. Zia Rashid is the girl Carson rescued from her millennia-long entombment. And, of course, fell in love with.
The Egyptian gods and goddesses Ra is the god of the sun and Apophis' archenemy. Isis is Horus' mother and wants to gain the throne for him. Anubis is a god of the dead and he and Sadie are in love. A love that is not to be as Shu, Anubis' great-grandfather and the god of air does his best to keep them apart---with the consent of other gods who shouldn't be colluding in this! Naturally, they spend a lot of time yammering without getting down to what they need to say to each other. Geb is an earth god married to Nut the sky goddess; they're Anubis' parents. Bes is a dwarf god who lost his soul. Set is a god of Chaos and once possessed Uncle Amos. Thoth is another death god. Hapi is the god of the Nile. And very, very hapi, er, happy. Neith is the goddess of the hunt. And easily distracted by Jelly Babies.
Sunny Acres Godly Retirement Community Tawaret is in charge of Sunny Acres. She's also a hippo goddess of childbirth and in love with Bes. Heket is a frog goddess; Mekhit a senile cat goddess.
JD Grissom and his wife Anne are with the Fifty-first Nome in Dallas, Texas.
A Russian Nome Sarah Jacobi was exiled for causing the death of 250,000 people. Kwai was exiled for murdering a fellow magician. Petrovich once worked as an assassin. Leonid escapes St. Petersburg and comes to warn Sadie.
Prince Khaemwaset, a.k.a., Setne, is a very bad boy and the son of Ramses II. Definitely a son who hates living in his father's shadow. He's a world-class thief and manipulator.
Apophis is a snake and one of the gods of chaos. Face of Horror is Set's lieutenant and the secret mouthpiece of Apophis.
The Duat is a "magical realm that coexists with our" world. The world and magic is all about balance: Ma'at (order and justice) versus Chaos. House of Life is the organization for magicians who use Egyptian magic. Shabit are Egyptian golems.
The Cover The cover is all oranges and blues of Carson carrying a flail of an Egyptian pharaoh with Zia standing on the rocks surrounding the Lake of Chaos with the obelisk that pins Apophis' fiery shadow standing back and center.
The title is this story's mission, pin The Serpent's Shadow to destroy Apophis.
An orphaned boy magician is tasked with defeating an omnipotent being that was vanquished before and has risen from the brink of annihilation to nearly take over and destroy the world as we know it. That's kind of a staple of the genre, so I could let that slide. But that the key to his defeat was to take his "shadow" and destroy it seemed like it was borrowing from Rowling's horcruxes (who I'm sure has borrowed plenty from others) a little too heavily.
Add in the meandering plot, the unsatisfying conclusion to the love triangle (so the God's have to go away, but Anubis is allowed to inhabit a mortals body? And how does this suddenly cure Walt?) and this whole series top to bottom has felt half assed and rushed. I enjoyed the first book, tolerated the second and LOVE his other series... but this just felt like a waste of time and money to me. Add in the subtle nod to his Roman and Greek heroes as a crossover - it just feels forced.
Red Pyramid (the first book) was purchased because I couldn't get hold of the Percy Jackson book I needed at the time. Sadly in my opinion this trilogy does not come up to Mr Riordan's expectedstandard.
In the Percy books, we got used to in depth characters, good continuity in the story lines, plenty of descriptive narrative taking us from place to place & situation to situation. The Kane chronicles lack much of that. The main characters are irritating and very juvenile, despite supposedly being the next pharaohs of Egypt. They get into a fight/situation/place and whoops, its all over, they won and they are already in the next fight/situation/whatever. They manage to learn all sorts of new magic (of which they supposedly have no previous knowledge) apparently through the ether as there is no description of their lessons/reading etc.
Described as good condition (with a small tear in the first page, what was not mentioned was that tear had removed the series listings for the remainder of the books), definitely not good condition as the front cover was badly creased and the book looks as though it had been owned by a car mechanic or similar profession who has dirty hands as the pages were filthy (by what looks like oil or grease) Quite a few of the pages were "dog eared". I would not even rate this book as fair condition.